The Language of Love on Valentine’s Day

Happy Valentines Day! Or Happy Galentines Day! Do you celebrate it? Or do you think its just a construct put

Michelle Hill

Happy Valentines Day! Or Happy Galentines Day!

Do you celebrate it? Or do you think its just a construct put together by the card industry?

I love Valentines Day. Those around me will know I am particularly soppy and cheesy and love any excuse for a good celebration. So for me, Valentines Day is a perfect opportunity to celebrate love.

I’ve been talking about Valentines Day a lot over the last few days partly as my husband and I work out what (if anything) we will do and partly because my eldest daughter is at the age where it has become a more focussed day. It’s made me reflect a bit on the Valentine Days I’ve had over the years.

I think back to my first Valentines Day with my husband when I was only 18. I remember the feeling of dread when I realised I’d got him a card and a gift and he hadn’t got me anything. The card stayed in my bag and the gift made its way to my brother instead! We went out for dinner but he’d not managed to get a booking until 10pm so it was a very late and slightly strained event.

I then fast forward to when I’d just gone back to work after maternity leave and my girls were 1 and 2. I was a massive believer in the impact of sensory play (hence a huge amount of mess and chaos in my house for a number of years) and we did a week of valentine themed crafts. Every day we had a heart related activity before or after work and my memories are of beautiful colours, huge creativity and wonderful laughs. I’ve just found some photos of that time and my heart soars just looking at them.

 

 

A couple of years ago we were away on Valentines Day as a family staying in a cottage in Norfolk and decided to do our own fancy family meal. We all got dressed up, with dinner suits, ball gowns and lots of lipstick and sat down as a family for a 3 course meal with music and dancing. We walked on the beach afterwards and the girls still remember it in glorious detail.

We’re away again for this Valentines Day as it coincides with half term holidays for us and the girls have asked if we can do something similar. Of course we’ve agreed and I’m already eagerly anticipating the night. It led to a conversation between my husband and I about what we would do for us and we came to the conclusion that the night with the girls and a card was more than enough.

Time together is the most important thing for me and the way in which I feel the most loved.

 

It led me to thinking again about the 5 Love Languages and how I see this play out in my approach of life, to love and to parenting.

What are the love languages? The five love languages are five different ways of expressing and receiving love: words of affirmation, quality time, receiving gifts, acts of service, and physical touch. Not everyone communicates love in the same way, and likewise, people have different ways they prefer to receive love. The concept of love languages was developed by Gary Chapman, Ph.D., in his book The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts, where he describes these five unique styles of communicating love, categories he distilled from his experience in marriage counselling and linguistics.

The website www.5lovelanguages.com has a set of quizzes where you can find out what your primary love language is and I completed it today to see if what I had always thought was true.

 

27% Quality Time

23% Words of Affirmation

17% Physical Touch

17% Acts of Service

16% Receiving Gifts

 

I was pleased (and secretly relieved) to find that I knew myself as well as I thought I did!

The thing that is most interesting is that I know that my husband and I have different profiles. I won’t overshare too much or break his confidence by sharing his profile here but its fair to say that ours are a bit different. We’ve had to work hard to find a middle ground where we both acknowledge and recognise our differences and communicate how we feel in a way that works for us both. We don’t always get it perfectly right but we’ve learnt a lot through the concept of Love Languages. I feel a bit bad to admit that we’ve never actually read the book or been on a course but the concept just made sense to us and is something we talk about relatively regularly.

Whatever your primary love language is and whether you chose to celebrate Valentines Day or not I wish you a day full of love. Love for yourself, love for others and love for what you do.

Michelle